Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday Reflections


It’s now 16 days since I started on my Paleo Diet and it is 17 days since I’ve taken any medication. I’ve lost 5.2 kilos and 7 cm from my waistline. I’m now losing weight at the rate of about 300- 500 grams a day, and that’s without a great deal of extra exercise outside of my normal work routine.

Get this – I do not suffer with those dreadful hypoglycaemic attacks any more. It used to be that, in spite of eating a hearty breakfast, I would find myself suddenly overwhelmed with hunger a couple of hours later. I would get weak and shaky, start perspiring and even suffer with pins and needles down the side of my face.

It made me so angry! Here I was desperately trying to stop the kilos from piling on and I was always hungry. I knew I shouldn’t eat Lollies, but what else do you do when you are in the middle of cleaning job and an attack of the munchies leaves you shaking and unable to concentrate?

Yes, I have had some dark times with my Anxiety/Depression. It’s so much easier to just pop a pill when the mind tears off at a million miles an hour, fretting about this and that and everything else. Or when it plunges into a pit of depression –

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me. I’m going out to eat worms!

 I’m sure you know how that goes.

It’s really helped to have my Blog and to be able to talk about all of this. I was touched by the level of support I received from some Blogger friends as well as personal friends and family as well. I guess I don’t have to eat worms after all. Although they would be a good source of Protein I imagine. LOL.

Of course the real test will come when I face the inevitable storms of life that affect us all at some time. Will I stand strong, or will I make a bee-line for my little stash of pills in the bedside cabinet? Right now I see myself standing firm, arms akimbo – my superwoman cape flapping in the wind behind me.

So it’s (mostly) all good. In fact it’s even a bit exciting. We really do need something to aim for, don’t we? It doesn’t matter what it is – losing weight, learning a new skill, taking up a sport – we just need to be going somewhere.
©Lyn Murphy 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Funny Friday


 I'm linking up with Tropical Mum in the Friday Funny Post 

We’ve been working together long enough to be able to fit seamlessly into a routine with each other (well usually)

Today Pete was finishing mopping the corridor leading up from the toilets while I swept the entry hall at the end of the corridor. I spotted a small pile of dirt just near where he was mopping and went quickly to sweep it up.

But suddenly Pete thrust out a hand towards me and yelled


I froze. Now I know I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately so perhaps I had suffered a lapse in concentration and was about to do something dangerous, or just remarkably stupid. My eyes darted about, hither and thither, trying to spot the reason for his warning shout.

And then he grinned – albeit a little sheepishly.

Apparently he shouted because he thought I was about to swipe the mop right through the neat little pile of dirt, scattering  it all over the freshly washed tiles – not to mention dirtying the mop head and filling it full of grit.

Of course then he realized that he was the one with the mop!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Dark Place


I’m down in the dark place with my dark thoughts.

I know I need to try to climb up and out of here, but it really seems like an impossible task. I’m tired. I have no real inspiration. After all, what is there to look forward to except the endless repetition of work, eat, sleep and getting older?

People who have never experienced clinical depression will snort and tell me to ‘suck it up’ – that I have to learn to be in control of my emotions and not to let my emotions control me.

They may point out that my life really isn’t so bad – and of course they are right. I have a lot to be thankful for. But see that is the mistake they make because they think this is a situational reaction. They think I’m feeling a bit down because I’m under stress – because something bad has happened to send me spiralling down here into the darkness.

Even people close to me – people who have heard the words about how this is to do with a chemical imbalance – they’ve heard the words but unless they have experienced this for themselves then that is what they will remain – just words.

I mean I can imagine how devastating it must be to lose a child or a partner to illness or accident. But imagination and experience can be worlds apart.

Yes, I stopped taking my meds. I’ve embarked upon a quest to lose weight and get fit – not just a diet and exercise plan but a new way of life. And part of that new way of life is to be medication-free if possible. Of course I acknowledged that there might be hurdles to overcome – withdrawals etc. I started talking the medications because I  really needed help to cope with the disorders. I knew I couldn’t expect the underlying conditions to have simply evaporated into thin air.

But I guess I had forgotten just how bad it can be. How deep and heavy is the pall of depression and how scary the nights can be when your dreams are full of nonsensical threats – when you’ve woken with a terrible start for the tenth time, heart pounding, drenched in a cold sweat.

Many, many years ago, when I gave up smoking, I kept a packet of cigarettes on top of the kitchen dresser. They were there if I couldn’t resist temptation – if I couldn’t cope with the withdrawals. Do you know that packet of cigarettes was still there, untouched, about five years later when I finally decided to throw them out?

We are such perverse creatures, aren’t we? If I feel I am forbidden to have something, then that is the thing I will crave most in the world. But if it comes down to a matter of my own choice – then I am more likely to stay strong. So the medications are still there in my bedside drawer. I have repeat prescriptions so there is a plentiful supply available if I so desire.

And yes, I fully understand that there is a difference between defeating an addiction, like smoking, and asserting my willpower to regulate a chemical imbalance in my brain. But it is still my body. And if I truly believe in the power of positive thinking, then what better test is there than this?

And, every time I feel on the brink of opening that drawer, I will take a moment to think about the 4.2 kilos, (and the 7 cm from my waist measurement) that I’ve lost so far.

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nice to be Appreciated


 ©Lola Palacios

Sometimes it is just nice to be appreciated.

I’m sure most of you know by now that we are cleaners. We are generally ‘set-and-forget' people. No one wants to have to think about the cleaning. They just want to find someone to do it and not have to worry about it again.

In the last few weeks we have received urgent summons from three different clients. Could we possibly drop everything and rush to their aid? New owners moving in – important people visiting – big meetings next morning. We heaved a sigh and mounted our white steeds.

To our surprized delight we received verbal and written notes of appreciation from all three parties. We are talking about super busy people here – and yet all three made a point of letting us know how grateful they were for our willingness to be flexible and our prompt response.

Now we don’t gallop to their assistance out of the goodness of our hearts. Of course we put in an invoice for our efforts. So it would be easy for the clients to say ‘Well – it’s their job after all. They get paid to do it.’ In fact this is the response of most people we’ve worked for over the years. If they call to demand an extra, short-noticed visit, we have two choices. We can go, or we can tell them we are busy and can’t make it. If we go, then fine. If we don't, well when it comes time to renew our arrangement they might just decide to look elsewhere.

But how nice it is they recognise that we have made an extra effort here and they respond in kind by making an extra effort of their own.

It makes me glad for every time I've thought to show a little appreciation for services rendered and it makes me think I ought to try to do it a whole lot more frequently.

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Sunday Reflections


©PinUp Toons CDO-2389

I had been making excuses for ages. I’m only a few kilos overweight and besides – I’m sixty years of age. I can’t expect to look like I did in my forties and still pencil thin. And, at my age life is already jam-packed with restrictions. You can’t wear that – you’ll look like mutton dressed up as lamb, or that, because you have to hide the upper arms and disguise the no-longer-flat tummy. You can’t sing along and shake-your-booty to the music, because the young people will make gagging noises. You have to dress and walk and talk in a dignified manner which is appropriate to your age so that you don’t embarrass anyone. So, considering all of that, the last thing I wanted was to have to apply restrictions to my eating as well. Surely I am entitled to some little luxuries in life?

But then I had a check-up before a minor surgical procedure and the specialist pointed out, in the nicest way possible, that I might want to address the issue of the steadily creeping kilos before it became a real issue.

So, after much grizzling and griping, I finally decided to start on a sensible eating plan with moderate exercise. I fired up the Treadmill and got myself some Protein Powder to snack on – after all I know from experience that the High Protein, low carbs approach works. I lost twelve kilos back in early 2009.

Well what’s this then? I was doing everything right and to my horror, I found I was gaining weight instead of losing it. How can that be? What hope is there for me then?

But, if there is one thing I am it’s determined. First thing I had to look at was my medication. I’ve mentioned previously that I have been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and I was currently on two different types of tablets. However my life has undergone some pretty big changes lately and most of the real anxiety triggers are no longer on the scene (like my husband’s brush with bowel cancer and having to get up at 3.30 am each week day to drive into the city to work) I figured I could at least give it a try – to stop taking my medications and see if that made a difference. If I found I was unable to cope without the tablets – well I could cross that bridge when I came to it.

To my great delight, it did work. I stopped the tablets and I was noticing a reversal of the weight gain within a day’s time.

Now a very close friend of mine had mentioned something called The Paleo Diet – eating the way our ancestors would have eaten way back in the caveman days. I decided to do some research and as is always the case when you start delving into Health and Nutrition issues, there is a dearth of conflicting information. But I gleaned the basic principles and they made an amazing amount of sense to me. And not only does it make sense, but the food allowed in the Paleo diet is mostly all stuff that I love.

Don’t worry – I’m not about to start preaching at you or trying to convert you. The way I see it, this is something that appeals to me and, even if no one else in the world agrees with me, this is something I am going to put into practise and see what happens. I’ve actually lost nearly three kilograms in two-and-a-half-days. The best part is that this is a lifestyle change and not just a diet. I’m not relying on meal replacement shakes and I’m not restricting myself to eating lettuce leaves or rice crackers.

This style of eating may even address my long-time problems with hypoglycaemia, or perhaps it might be best termed exaggerated insulin response. I suddenly get very hungry – weak and shaking; breaking out in a cold sweat and having great trouble concentrating. I've been tested and they tell me 'Good news. You're not diabetic.' And yes, it is good news, but it doesn't help to fix the problem.

Oh – I am going to be following what they call the Cheaters Diet, which means I have one free day per week during which I can eat whatever I please.

This is for three reasons –
1. To spike my metabolism and to encourage my body to burn fat more efficiently.
2. To avoid the woe-is-me syndrome (the thought of never being able to indulge in all those yummy, no-no treats again) and
3. To keep my husband happy. What fun would it be for him to have to eat his pancakes-for-breakfast and home-made-pizza-for-dinner all alone on a Saturday?(Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. LOL)

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Reflections


 ©Mist by VSC

So we are back to staring at blank pages!

I keep thinking I must find something to write about or people will get sick of coming to my Blog and finding nothing new. But I wrack my brain for some kind of inspiration and find the cupboard depressingly bare.

Perhaps I could get on board with the current trend in the Blogger Kingdom and have a Theme Day? My Blogger friend, Thea, always has a Sunday Session, where she posts clips of her favourite music. Other friends take part in Wordless Wednesday, where they post a picture, generally without a caption, because they feel it has something to say all by itself. It’s Sunday, so I’m thinking I might sum up my week and call it Sunday Reflections?

H’mmm. Is my life really of sufficient interest to anyone else for this to be a viable option? Well, probably not. But then again, this is my little corner of the Blogosphere and that means I have carte Blanche as far as content goes. And I actually drop by regularly to the Blogs of other people and read about what is happening in their lives. It’s just as it would be if I was able to visit these people personally and share a cup of coffee and a bit of a chat. We might not discuss anything of earth shattering importance, but we would be getting to know each other by sharing something of ourselves. We would be building a friendship.

So, here goes!

We had a minor triumph this week. Due to illness and family issues, our work-related situation has been up and down and all over the place for the last couple of years. Just recently it looked like we were about to plummet down yet another dip in the roller coaster when the lady who owned the business to which we were subcontracting, (I’ll call her Nellie) decided to sell up for health reasons.

But to our amazement Nellie asked if we would like to take over this particular cleaning round and manage it ourselves. Now Nellie has only known us since June of this year when we started to work for her, but apparently she gave us a glowing reference when she spoke to the Office Manager. We had a meeting with the same Office Manager on Thursday and she, plus other staff members, gave us a very warm and friendly welcome.

So it's a real feather in our cap that we are not the 'subbies' anymore - we da contractors now, man!

Of course I know better than to crow too loudly for fear the hen house might just collapse on my head. So I will just smile very broadly instead.

It wasn’t all that long ago I was mortified to think we might have to go back to working at B Street

©Lyn Murphy 2011

PS. Incidentally - if you've dropped by for a visit please leave a comment - even if it was just to say Hello. This would be very much appreciated and, if you have a Blog, I would be happy to come and visit with you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ten Things


I’ve been invited by Cheryl at Number Five to come up with a Blog entitled Ten Things You May Not Know about Me. (and probably couldn’t care less about anyhow, but never mind, it’s all a bit of fun) So here goes:-

1. As a child I dreamed of being in the Movies and starring in a musical. I used to practice for hours singing songs from classics like Oklahoma and South Pacific.

2. I also wanted to be a writer and spent endless hours writing great rambling sagas about a pirate boy, Billy Bland and his sister, Becky. They were kidnapped from their mother by their estranged father who had become a pirate, and taken aboard his ship. They managed to escape and took up residence on a deserted island.

3. I used to call Rhubarb, Barbroob.

4. I once embarrassed the heck out of myself by telling someone that a friend had just had a tubal
 LITIGATION instead of a tubal ligation.

5. I have no sense of direction.

6. I’m afraid of heights and yet I love travelling in an aeroplane – even a small, two-seater aircraft.

7. As a teenager I used to have dreams which came true to the detail. It was only in later years, when the ability faded, I understood that this is not a regular thing.

8. I’m hopeless at math. In my final exams at high school I got something like 19%. Yet now we have our own business and I do all my own bookwork.

9. I have an enduring interest in Health and Nutrition. I regret not having discovered this interest earlier in my life as I feel I could have pursued a career in this field

10. The main reason I write a Blog all about cultivating a positive attitude is because I am, by nature, a pessimist. If I need to be constantly reminded how important my attitude can be in the overall scheme of things, then I believe there are plenty of other people who might need reminding too.

Well there you go. Actually this turned out to be a interesting exercise; trying to come up with ten things to write about myself. Why not try it and see what you come up with?

©Lyn Murphy 2011